The one frustrating thing about having a statewide focus, as opposed to a regional one, is that it’s incredibly difficult to obtain beers from a lot of breweries. Even if they distribute, a lot of the times their distribution is limited and rarely trickles down my way.
For example, take Pair O’ Dice in Clearwater. Great regional brewery, picking up a lot of steam, and they even have two cans in production and distribution. But if you’re not in the Tampa Bay area, you won’t be able to find them.
However, I managed to make a trip to the area and got a sample of each of the cans. The first can I sampled was their Hop Bet Red IPA (IPA, 6.5% ABV, 50 IBU).
A quick personal note on the style; I tend to like red or black IPAs a bit more than standard IPAs, since the increased malt presence tends to help allay an overly pronounced hop characteristic in many cases.
Cases such as Hop Bet. To be sure, it’s got a big, floral hop bouquet that opens us as you pour it out, filling the pint glass with a resiny aroma that is present and qute pronounced on the palate as well.
But, just as the hops hit their zenith, in comes a big wave of gooey caramel malt. It’s deliciously bready, and easily turns an aggressive hop bomb into a moderate and well rounded brew.
It’s an excellent brew, and readily identifiable as to why I enjoy drinking these styles of beers. But why does Clearwater have to be so far away?
Drink Florida Craft,